Homemade Plum Wine

August 26th, 2010

This homemade plum wine is better than our cherry wine.

Making fruit wine has quickly become one of my favorite summer things. I initially got into it via dandelion wine — my gateway home hooch. Next up was hard cider (although not a wine it’s a home fermented beverage that’s similar to DIY wine) and this summer I got to bottle both my first attempts at homemade cherry wine and now plum wine.

I made the plum wine with Sandor Ellix Katz’s recipe (check out my abdriged version of that here) last summer with some of our sideyard plums and it’s been sitting pretty in the utility room ever since. After the initial ferment in a food-grade bucket I funneled it into a three-gallon glass carboy. A few months later I racked it but other than that it’s just been doing its thing. Until I bottled it this weekend that is.

***Just so you know I’ve been using about half the called for sugar when the fruit is good and sweet and the wine has been tasty.***

I thought it would be good but I had no idea it’d be this freaking good. It’s tart, dry and tastes like a perfect plum. Except better. And alcoholic. We’re not sure what kind of plums they are but they look like these cherry plums.

Everything that makes these plums not so great as fresh eating plums — small fruit to pit ratio, very sour and slightly bitter skin, not so sweet flesh — makes them perfect for wine. Most of the sugar and sweetness is fermented off and the sour and bitter of the skin adds character and body.

This year is the first year that our front yard Brooks Plum is significantly fruiting — we planted it three years ago — so I started a batch of plum wine this week out of those. I’ll be sure to let you know how that is about this time next year.

All you need is a two gallons of plums to make 10-plus bottles of tasty plum wine. What are you waiting for?

Plum wine -- straight from the vine!

7 Responses to “Homemade Plum Wine”

  1. morgan grundstein-helvey Says:

    LIZ!!! it was so awesome to see you so often during book frenzy! just wanted to say hi!!! and that of course your food adventures have inspired me to carve out a few hours and make some fruit wine!!! i’ll keep you updated… hope you are awesome! lots of love and happy plum wining! love, m

  2. Liz Crain Says:

    Hey Morgan! I know, it was really fun to get to see you so much this summer. We’re starting to work on the Portland Fermentation Festival now and I’ll keep you in the loop. Maybe we can have a fruit wine party one of these days. Or a fruit wine making party?! Hey, I saw the Urban Farm Collective set up near N. Mississippi the other day and thought of you. I want to learn more about it. Soon. Love you!

  3. Devlyn Says:

    Excellent! Glad yours turned out well. My mom makes plum wine from her tree, but wasn’t able to do it this year, as all of her plums dropped on a weekend she was away! Gah! So no plum wine for me this year. A fruit wine party would be great fun!

  4. Liz Crain Says:

    That sucks Devlyn! Yeah, we didn’t make plum wine out of these plums this year either — hardly any on the tree. I just made 3 gallons from the Brooks plums though and it smells/looks great so far. Need to add sugar tonight. I’ll keep you posted if we do a fruit wine party. That could be amazing…

  5. Yard Fresh Pt. 7 | Food Lover's Guide to Portland Says:

    […] Book EventsUpcoming Book Events | Food Lover's Guide to Portland on Book EventsLiz Crain on Homemade Plum WineDevlyn on Homemade Plum […]

  6. TheWineBrewer Says:

    ‚ÄčI have a great video on how i made Plum wine here:



  7. Liz Crain Says:

    These are so great! Thank you so much for sharing them. I watched the first and part of the second — will finish later — but what I really want to know is how did the plum wine turn out?! I’ve been making mine for years and every year my plum tree produces more. I’m about to bottle 200 bottles of it in a few weeks! I use a much simpler recipe than you — just fruit, water, sugar and champagne yeast. I’m going to watch your banana wine videos too! Where in NZ are you?

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